Study centres to facilitate these courses are available in 10 jails across the state.
One is a convicted murderer while the other is serving time for theft. The two are among 145 prisoners in Maharashtra who were given reductions in their respective sentences between 2019 and June 2023 for completing SSC/HSC, graduation, and post-graduation programmes.
Maharashtra prisons offer education to both undertrials and convicts, but only convicts are eligible for early release upon completion of their studies. Study centres to facilitate these courses are available in 10 jails across the state.
At these study centres, inmates can enroll in courses offered by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) or Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU). The inmates are given course materials and have access to a prison-appointed teacher for questions and guidance. Exams are held inside the prison.
A woman recently earned a post-graduate degree while serving a murder sentence in Nagpur jail. Her husband, who was also convicted of the murder, has already been released. The degree will shorten her sentence by three months.
The Nagpur Central Jail released 61 inmates early between 2019 and June 2023, the most of any prison in Maharashtra.
Additional Director General of Prisons Amitabh Gupta said the decision to provide this exemption was made in order to encourage prisoners to pursue higher education and to give them a better chance of reintegrating into society after their release.